Daily Current Affairs - 01st Jun 2020

Centre announces 'Mudra Shishu loan' for small businesses and cottage industries

  • A 1500 crore interest subvention for small business and cottage industries has been announced under Mudra Shishu loan. Under this scheme, one lakh beneficiaries can avail interest benefit of 2 per cent for a year. Centre has taken several steps so that shopkeepers do not suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A Rs 5000 crore package was announced for the roadside hawkers. Under this, 50 lakh street vendors can avail loan upto Rs 10,000. Street vendors can contact any nationalised bank to avail the benefit.

Coronavirus numbers cross six million

  • The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide topped six million as Brazil registered another record surge in daily infections and divisions deepened on how to deal with the pandemic. Brazil -- the epicenter of South America's outbreak with nearly 5,00,000 confirmed cases,is lagging only behind the US. Brazil surpassed France to have the world's fourth-highest count with nearly 30,000 deaths.
  • Latin American countries are bracing for difficult weeks ahead as the disease spreads rapidly across the region.

Cyclone brewing in Arabian Sea

  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said a cyclonic storm is brewing over the Arabian Sea and is likely to hit the coastal districts of Maharashtra and Gujarat by June 3. The Met department also iterated that monsoon has not yet reached Kerala yet and conditions will be favourable for monsoon in the state after June 1.

First phase of nationwide unlock begins on June 1

  • The first phase of nationwide unlock starts on June 1. In the new directives, the Union home ministry said re-opening of prohibited activities in areas outside containment zones will be done in a phased manner from June 1. It said the lockdown, the fourth phase of which ends on Sunday, will remain in force in containment zones till June 30.
  • Government also allowed unfettered movement of goods and persons between states and within states. Several states have also released guidelines for the fifth phase of lockdown or Unlock 1.

GST Council meeting likely to be held on June 14

  • Amid pressure on tax collection, the all-powerful GST Council meeting is likely to be held on June 14, the first such meeting after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tax collection has been hit due to lockdown imposed since March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus.
  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is headed by the Union Finance Minister and comprises representatives of all states and Union Territories (UTs).
  • Meanwhile, the finance ministry is not in favour of increasing goods and services tax (GST) rates on non-essential items in the next meeting of the Council, despite depressed revenue collections due to the nationwide lockdown.

Home Ministry issues directives for COVID-19 management at public & work places

  • Union Home Ministry has issued national directives for COVID-19 management which will apply to public places and work places. Under these directives, wearing of face covers is compulsory, spitting will be punishable with fine, and social distancing is to be followed by all persons in public places and in transport.
  • Marriage related gatherings will not have more than 50 guests. For funerals and last rites, the maximum number of persons allowed has been kept at 20. Consumption of liquor, paan, gutkha and tobacco is not allowed at public place.
  • It noted that there should be provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitizers at all entry and exit points and common areas.

Medical device industry to get over Rs.3,000 crore boost

  • Domestic medical devices industry is set to receive a booster dose as central government lays out plan to incentivise Indian players with at least Rs.3,420 crore, over a period of five years. This incentive would be provided if they were to invest in their set-ups to produce key medical devices.

Nakamura stuns Carlsen

  • American Hikaru Nakamura stunned world champ Magnus Carlsen with an Armageddon game victory to clinch the three day semi-final and advance to the final of the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge. The tiebreaking day of their semi-final opened with a draw before Nakamura and Carlsen each claimed a win and then both settled for another draw in game four to sit on 2-2 and force the Armageddon round.

Next phase of Operation 'Samudra Setu' will commence from June 1

  • The next phase of Operation “Samudra Setu” to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas will commence from 1st of June. In this phase, INS Jalashwa will repatriate 700 personnel from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu and subsequently repatriate another 700 personnel from Malè, Maldives to Tuticorin.
  • Indian Navy has already repatriated 1,488 Indian nationals from Malè to Kochi during the previous phase of operations.

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft docks at ISS after historic launch

  • SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft with two NASA astronauts successfully docked with the International Space Station after a historic launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It has marked the dawn of a new age in commercial space travel.
  • Elon Musk's SpaceX company confirmed the successful docking of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley with the ISS, the orbiting laboratory after traveling 19 hours.

Sports ready for restart in the UK

  • The British sporting recovery has begun, the UK government proclaimed as it approved the return of domestic competitive action behind closed doors from June 1. Horse racing is set to be the first major sport back in action on Monday.
  • The England and Wales Cricket Board will step up plans to restart the sport behind closed doors after the British government gave the green light to return to action.

Tata Sons to manufacture Sree Chitra institute’s test kits

  • Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, has entered into an agreement with the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology , Thiruvananthapuram, under the Department of Science and Technology for commercial production of Covid-19 testing kits.
  • The kits will be based on RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Amplification) technology for Covid-19 detection, which can produce results in significantly less time, thereby increasing the throughput of labs in India. The tests are expected to get approval shortly and production will commence soon after.

TRAI dismisses media reports about 11-digit numbering plan for mobile services

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) dismissed media reports that it has recommended 11-digit numbering plan for mobile services. It termed the reports as complete misinterpretation of its recommendation on ensuring adequate numbering resources for fixed line and mobile services issued two days back.
  • The TRAI has said, as per its recommendation, the country will continue with 10-digit numbering for mobile services. The telecom regulator added that it has categorically rejected shifting to an 11-digit mobile numbering plan.

US postpones G7 Summit till September

  • US President Donald Trump has postponed the G7 Summit till September. He has expressed his desire to expand the Group to G10 or G11, including India and three other nations Russia, Australia and South Korea to the grouping of the world's top economies. The G7 members are US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and UK at present.

Vinesh to be nominated for Khel Ratna

  • Ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat is set to be recommended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for India's highest sporting honour the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. She has been consistent in the last three years, winning Asian Games gold in Jakarta. She qualified for the Tokyo Games by winning a bronze at the World Championship in Nur Sultan in 2019.

Yes Bank to reclassify Madhu Kapur Group as public shareholders

  • Private sector lender Yes Bank has said that its promoters and the family of its co-founder Ashok Kapur have agreed to have their shareholding reclassified as non-promoters or public shareholders. YES Bank was co-founded by Rana Kapoor along with Madhu Kapur's late husband Ashok Kapur as a new age private sector bank in 2004.
  • As on March 31, 2020, Madhu Kapur held 1.12 per cent in YES Bank, while Mags Finvest had 0.30 per cent.